Game Recap #74: Sweepers 6, Sweepees 5

Sweeps are cool.

As we predicted going into this series, the Twins swept the White Sox, cruising to easy victories in all four games.  Well, okay, each of the games was close, but the Good Guys were on the high side of each of them, and that's all that really matters.

Phil Hughes fell victim to OBI (One Bad Inning) Syndrome yesterday, having no trouble at all other than in the third.  Hughes felt he was being squeezed in that inning, as did Dan Gladden and, more significantly, Ron Gardenhire.  Gardenhire expressed this opinion to home plate umpire D. J. Reyburn, who told Gardy he could express his opinions to the clubhouse attendants for the remainder of the game.  We all know that you can't argue balls and strikes, but seriously, why can't you?  Yes, it's a judgment call, but so is everything else.  If it gets to be too much, or if the wrong words are said, sure, eject someone.  But what makes ball and strike calls so special?  Why shouldn't you be allowed to argue about them?

Anyway, Hughes was pulled after five innings and eighty-seven pitches.  He probably could've gone another inning, but there was no need, as the bullpen came in and did an awesome job.  Glen Perkins was unavailable, which some fans looked at as a cause for concern, but those concerns were groundless.  It was twelve up and twelve down for the bullpen, with Swarzak pitching two innings and Fien and Burton one apiece.  Burton was especially dominant, striking out two and discouraging the third batter so much that he bunted just so he could say he made contact.

Joe Mauer was 6-for-16 in the series, getting two doubles and driving in six runs.  Small sample size, to be sure, but it at least gives reason to hope he's getting back to being the Joe Mauer we've watched for the last ten years.

So the Twins get a well-earned day off before traveling to Los Angeles for a three-game series with the Angels.  Coming into this series, we said that four close losses was no reason to panic.  Similarly, reason would tell us that four close wins are no reason to becoming euphoric.  However, I think I shall not listen to reason.  We swept the White Sox!  We have a four-game winning streak!  It's just the start of our season-ending ninety-two game winning streak!  We're still on track for 124-38!

7 thoughts on “Game Recap #74: Sweepers 6, Sweepees 5”

  1. I wonder if anyone's done a study looking at ball and strike calls before and after a manager argues about them. One theory is that if you show off the ump, you're just going to get fewer borderline calls. However, I suspect that most referees desperately want to be fair and that a player or coach arguing about something may help their subconscious give borderline calls to the arguing team later in the game.

    1. I think you're probably right with umps in pro leagues, but Trey's Little League team had the opposite experience. Our manager had been arguing balls and strikes when we were pitching in the top of the first and didn't get a single strike called in a five-run inning. In the bottom of the first, the first pitch to Trey was called a strike and the ump heard a lot of complaints from our side. I think Trey fouled a pitch off and then was emphatically called out on a pitch at least a foot outside that the catcher had to basically dive for to get a glove on. He wasn't quite so bad after that and somehow we ended up getting four runs that inning and eventually tied the game 7-7, but it was pretty obvious the ump was calling that strike 3 on Trey out of spite.

      1. I watched my nephew's playoff game on Saturday. Twice they got screwed over by the umps. The first time, a player was called safe at first which led to a run. It was a close call, but I was standing closer to the play from the bleachers then the ump was, who had his arms in his pockets way behind second base.

        The second bad call was when the other team scored a run even though our team had the ball in the infield. There's a rule that you can't play chicken with the infielders when they have control of the ball. The coach got on the ump's case after gifting the other team that run and then all of the sudden the balls and strikes got suspicious.

        Not to mention they found out after the fact that the opposing playoff team had 10 and 11 year-olds on it (it's an 8/9 year old-league), but it wasn't cheating because the league is so small they had to invite a team from another league to play to fill out the playoff schedule. Sheesh.

  2. at least as dumb as ejections for arguing balls and strikes is automatic ejection for arguing a video review decision (see: Ron Washington in last night's Rangers-Angels game).

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